August 23, 2015

Pumpkin Cake

This pumpkin cake is beautiful with a great texture, and great colour!  I've found that with pumpkin cakes you really can't taste that there's pumpkin in them, it just gives the cake a nice small crumb and keeps everything moist.

This cake goes well with cinnamon, caramel or chocolate icing.  Check out how Sweetapolita styled this cake with drippy salted caramel, cream cheese icing and chocolate icing. 

Recipe adapted from: Sweetapolita
Ingredients - 3 layer 20 cm (8 inch) cake
265g white sugar
160g brown sugar
4 eggs
240mL vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
400g pumpkin puree (you can used canned puree, however I cook and mash fresh pumpkin)
345g flour
1.5 tbsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F).  If you're using fresh pumpkin, cook it and mash it up (I just chop the pumpkin up and microwave it with some water, then mash with a fork).  Set it aside to cool.  Skip this step if you're using canned pumpkin filling.

2. Beat the eggs, white sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the oil and vanilla, beat until combined.  Add the pumpkin and mix until combined.

4. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt - then gradually add these dry ingredients to the rest of the batter.  Mix until everything's combined.

5. Butter three 22cm cake tins or equivalent, and line the bottoms with baking paper.

6. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the tins and bake for about 25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

7. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes then invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.

Finally, assemble your cake with the icing of your choice.  I baked some in friand shapes and left them plain (the texture of this cake is just so amazing!) - I've also made this cake in layers with cinnamon buttercream (see below), and I've made it with dark chocolate ganache too.

It's a great versatile recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

August 11, 2015

Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are a great staple - these ones are lovely, soft and tasty.  (Of course I add chocolate chips rather than raisins.)

Recipe adapted from: Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich
190g rolled oats
62.5mL water
225g butter
150g brown sugar
100g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
160g flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
100g walnuts
130g choc chips (or raisins, if you're that way inclined)

1. Combine the oats with the water in a bowl, and let them soak.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla and salt.

3. Add the egg and stir until combined.

4. Add the flour, bicarb, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until just combined.

5. Chop the walnuts roughly.

6. Add the walnuts, choc chips and soaked oats, fold them into the dough.

7. Let the dough rest in the fridge for about an hour or more/overnight.

8. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).

9. Shape rough tablespoon amounts of dough and place them spread out on a baking tray covered with baking paper/silicon mats.

10. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until golden on top.  These ones tend to spread out a little but not heaps!

11. Let the cookies cool for a bit then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.